After the blockbuster trade with the Minnesota Timberwolves, Jimmy Butler has reportedly given the Philadelphia 76ers an assurance that he will re-sign with them when he becomes an unrestricted free agent next summer. That gave the Sixers a sense of relief, knowing that they didn’t lose of two their core players, Robert Covington and Dario Saric, for a one-year rental.
However, when Jimmy Butler started wearing the Sixers’ jersey, there has been a big question about his fit in the City of Brotherly Love. After having a heated exchange with Coach Brett Brown regarding his role on the offensive end, Kevin O’Connor of the Ringer revealed that Butler’s problems with the Sixers system are real. If the Sixers won’t change their strategy, he may reconsider his decision to sign a long-term contract in Philadelphia next July.
As O’Connor noted, Butler could choose to join a team that plays his style where one of his potential free agency destinations is the Los Angeles Clippers.
“Butler could prefer to sign with a team that plays his style, ranking closer to the top of the NBA in both pick-and-roll and isolation frequency, like the Clippers or Nets.”
Despite not having a legitimate superstar on their roster, the Clippers are surprisingly performing well in the 2018-19 NBA season. As of now, they are sitting in the No. 7 spot in the Western Conference with a 24-18 record. When the season is over, the Clippers will be having the opportunity to make a massive upgrade on their roster through free agency.
— Clippers Nation (@_clippersnation) January 12, 2019
By renouncing all their incoming free agents, the Clippers will be able to open enough salary cap space to sign two max free agents next summer. On Twitter, Brandon Robinson of Scoop B revealed that Jimmy Butler is interested in joining the Clippers and “intrigued” with the idea of teaming up with Toronto Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard.
“Philadelphia 76ers’ Jimmy Butler ‘still has a desire to sign with the Los Angeles Clippers this offseason,’ I’m hearing this afternoon. Butler is ‘intrigued with possibly teaming up with Kawhi Leonard.'”
Like Jimmy Butler, Kawhi Leonard is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. As of now, Leonard hasn’t given any hint regarding his free agency plan as he’s focused on helping the Raptors fully dominate the Eastern Conference this season. However, when he demanded a trade from the San Antonio Spurs, rumors circulated that Leonard would be signing with one of the Los Angeles teams in the 2019 NBA free agency.
Acquiring Jimmy Butler and Kawhi Leonard will turn the Clippers from a mediocre team to a legitimate title contender in the deep Western Conference. When healthy, Butler and Leonard are two of the best two-way players in the NBA. The outcome of the 2018-19 NBA season is expected to play a major role in their decision in the summer of 2019.